New England Patriots

New England Patriots

Nov 26, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; Air Force Falcons running back Brad Roberts (20) is tackled by San Diego State Aztecs defensive lineman Justus Tavai (91) during the second half at Snapdragon Stadium. Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

For most of OTAs the Patriots had an open spot on their active roster. After Devin McCourty’s retirement was made official two weeks ago, the Patriots had 89 players on their 90-man roster.

Ahead of their first Minicamp practice on Monday, the Patriots changed that. According to multiple reports, the team re-signed rookie defensive lineman Justus Tavai on Monday morning.

  • This will be Tavai’s second stint with the Patriots this spring. He signed with the team just before OTAs, then was released two weeks ago.

    The brother of current Patriots linebacker Jahlani Tavai, Justus spent his first four college seasons at Hawaii before transferring to San Diego State last fall. In his lone season with the Aztecs, Tavai recorded five tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in 11 games, while adding an interception and two pass breakups.

    Listed at 6-foot-3, 290 pounds Tavai is a multi-positional defensive lineman. He should compete for a depth role on the Patriots’ roster or a practice squad spot.

    There are now three Tavai brothers on NFL rosters. In addition to Justus and Jahlani in New England, defensive end Jonah Tavai – who also played at San Diego State – is currently with the Seattle Seahawks after signing there as a UDFA following this year’s draft.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at

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